How To Dress Sharp On A Budget While Building Your Empire


While some (read: male) startup founders may infamously be able to get away with wearing hoodies around the office, the rest of us entrepreneurs only get that comfort if our businesses are run from our homes (and even then, we at least have to put on a bra for Google Hangouts meetings).

Even if you’re lucky (or strategic) enough to have that WFH luxury where you can bypass updating your work wardrobe until you start turning a profit, there are still conferences, panel discussions, networking events, workshops, and other occasions you might inevitably have to attend for the betterment of your businesses…most of which require you putting forth some sort of professional appearance.

The cost of looking sharp while you’re starting a company means you’re working with limited budgets, and that those budgets need to work extra hard to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. The following list of companies – founded by and for women – are helping ladies everywhere  - but particularly female founders - reinvent the way we do style. Check out these companies to maintain or boost your professional image on a dime.

For Maintaining Your Look: Finery

Let’s get honest with ourselves – it’s safe to say that most us have enough in our closets that even when we think we don’t have anything to wear…we definitely have something to wear. We just need to find a fresh way to wear it.

That’s where Finery comes in. Finery is a great solution for female founders on a budget looking to use and wear what they already have, while still creating new looks for their everyday wardrobe.

Co-founded by CEO Whitney Casey and former supermodel and actress Brooklyn Decker, Finery is an app and website that allows you to view your entire wardrobe, style yourself, and find those ‘missing pieces’ of your wardrobe and wishlist them for later. Unlike the Clueless closet, the process doesn’t have to be a laborious, manual upload – Finery searches your email for shopping receipts and automatically adds them to the system.


For Snagging That Great Designer Handbag: DesignerShare

DesignerShare is a community for women to rent their designer clothing and accessories to one another. It’s also a haven for entrepreneurship, creating a form of passive income through the simple act of opening your door. 

In addition to being one of the premiere platforms to rent and rent out your favorite designer pieces to and from other women at a fraction of the cost, DesignerShare is one of the only rental platforms where you can rent seriously, SERIOUSLY, high-end bags for a fraction of the cost, AND for double the rental period on other platforms. Now you can get the look and get the bag to match it!


For Buying Designer Pieces For Less: Rent The Runway

Hang with me here, un momento. Obviously, Rent The Runway made their mark by renting great designer clothing to women, and their unlimited monthly rental service is part of our bank account goals for when we’re constantly dressing up and on the panel circuit.

But Rent The Runway is also an amazing place to shop for like-new designer pieces at unbelievably low prices. Thanks to RTR’s clearance rack, you can grab some total business casual steals (admittedly from a season or two ago) at a discount rate, helping you stay on budget while updating your wardrobe for events, picking up statement dresses, or filling out your wardrobe gaps each season. 


For Adding Some Bling: Rocksbox

Rocksbox works similarly to the other companies listed here. Through a monthly subscription service, your stylist picks out three designer jewelry pieces based on your profile. You can keep the pieces you like using the $21 monthly fee as a credit to purchase your favorite piece. Use the prepaid label to return the rest.

Designers include House of Harlow, Kate Space, Sophie Harper and WILDE amongst others.